I love my apartment. No, let me clarify, I love living in an apartment. For the vast majority of my post-college years, I have enjoyed the ease and flexibility of apartment life. I’m more than willing to compromise on the size of my living space for the convenience that comes from not having to shovel a driveway, mow the lawn or God forbid, replace a roof or appliance.
Would it make financial sense for my roommate, another 20-something, career-driven female, and I to make a down payment on a starter house and take advantage of a low-interest first-time homebuyer’s loan? With the housing market making a comeback and considering how much I pay in rent (so conveniently siphoned from my banking account each month), the answer is yes. But just like thousands of other females, we’re not leaving our two-bedroom apartment anytime soon.
As a recent CNBC article reports, even as housing and the greater economy improve, the rental apartment market still beats out the housing market—all because of women.
My generation, known as Millennials, is delaying marriage and motherhood in favor of a career or adventure-driven 20s, and because of this, birth and fertility rates are dropping. The female fertility rate is at its lowest level in recorded U.S. history, according to the Centers for Disease Control/Raymond James research.
Instead of settling down post-college in a cozy house in the suburbs with a doting husband, baby and white picket fence, we’re hanging our college diplomas in our cramped apartments and relegating visions of our dream houses to our Pinterest boards.
Through apartment living, we have the flexibility to move where our careers may take us or eventually, where we decide to settle down with our spouses. In my case, I’m thankful for my lease, which allows me the chance to easily move into my boyfriend’s house someday after we’re married or sell his house and purchase a new home together. Selling one home seems infinitely better than selling two.
Even with my views on apartment living, I do admire the few 20-something female friends of mine who decided to balk this trend and become modern-day Rosie the Riveters, investing in household necessities (aren’t blinds exciting?) and spending their Saturdays at the local hardware store sans a spouse. These brave few are the ones that make up the only 34 percent of both men and women under the age of 35 who own a home, according to a Raymond James report.
Only time will tell if my Millennial generation will continue to fuel the burgeoning rental market, but with marriage and babies not yet on the horizon for me and many of my female counterparts, I suspect that this trend will only continue.
After all, I’m only 25.